Lingerie Store Files Suit Against Craighead County

JONESBORO (KAIT) -"If it's just a lingerie shop, then why did they suit," asked County Judge Dale Haas.

That is the question as Seductions Lingerie is set to go before the Craighead County Quorum Court Monday night, after filing a federal civil suit against the county.

"We believe that states, counties, and municipalities have the right to regulate sexually oriented businesses. It's something that they can and should do, but when they do it, they need to do it in a way that common, ordinary business owners know how to operate their business in a way that I complies with the ordinance, or that it doesn't need to comply with the ordinance," said Seductions' Attorney Ben Brenner.

The suit claims the County should be restrained from enforcing the ordinance because, one, it fails to define "principal business purposes," secondly, the ordinance is enforced differently against similarly situated businesses, and thirdly,  it is a violation of the First Ammendment.

"My hope is that the Quorum Court will realize that this ordinance is drafted and written in a way that it really doesn't provide common ordinary people with the type of guidance that it needs to," said Brenner.

But even if Monday night's meeting leads to the removal of the Craighead County Ordinance against sexually oriented businesses, State Act 387 says that if Seductions is ruled as a sexually oriented business, they are not allowed to locate at least 1,000 feet away from residential areas.

"After sending a couple of my people to go check, there was ten residents that were with in 150 feet to 950 feet from this company's property line," said Judge Haas.

However, for now Seductions still claims that's not their intent for business.

"Seductions lingerie is designed and intended to be operated as a non-sexually oriented business," said Brenner.

Meanwhile, Judge Haas says that if they are in compliance and meet state regulations he has no problem issuing them a license to operate in such a manner.

"My position, if they apply for a permit, it doesn't matter what I like or dislike. If they apply for a permit and they meet the qualifications required by the ordinance, then I will issue them a permit," said Judge Haas.

The current Craighead County Ordinance went into effect in 2000, but Act 387 by the state trumps that ordinance and in essence could change the outcome for Seductions.

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